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Mars Rovers Alive And Well After Long Storm (w/pic)

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posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 05:29 PM

Opportunity sent back this view of Victoria crater after recent dust storms had receded.

See the full image at the link........

NASA's twin Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity are starting to move again after being immobilized for six weeks by severe dust storms.

The storms hit in late June, just as Opportunity was poised to enter the 800-metre-wide Victoria crater, which may contain crucial geological records of past conditions on Mars.

Lofting dust high in the atmosphere, the storms blocked precious sunlight needed for the rover solar panels to generate power. Both rovers had to stop driving, and Opportunity was so starved of power that its handlers worried it might freeze to death during the cold Martian night.

Now, the storms have finally receded and both rovers are about to start driving towards much-anticipated targets.

This just continues to amaze me.

I sat biting my nails a each rover lifted off from Earth, and watch with awe as they each made a perfect landing on Mars. And then the fun began.....

Two small rovers so far from home, and they only had a 90 day warranty on them. The science started coming in, and again I sat in awe of the incredible pictures and science data being returned.
To be able to sit at my desk and watch never before seen landscapes unfold on a distant world, and on a daily basis was a dream come true.

But no one thought it would last too long. The environment was harsh, and the rovers had already been through so much just to get up and running on the surface.

Now they've made it through a major storm and the keep on going.

Dang, they must have the Energizer Bunny helping them out. This mission has gone from a 3 month expected lifetime to about 4 years.

It looks like they're gonna try to shake some of the dust off, and continue on.

You can get mission updates at this NASA link.

But keep in mind, this could all be taking place on a sound stage and with CGI.

posted on Sep, 1 2007 @ 03:34 AM
Nicely done! You got this one in a few days ahead of the mass media!

NASA: Mars Rovers Survive Big Dust Storm
Associated Press | Saturday, September 01, 2007

LOS ANGELES — They're old and dirty, but NASAs Mars rovers are back in the exploration business after enduring a lengthy Red Planet dust bowl that blocked most of the sunlight they need for power.

SOURCE | |
image source:

Above: NASAs Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity using
its front hazard-identification camera to obtain this image.

It is quite amazing that those tinker toys are still running! They've far exceeded their usable shelf life, and have proved themselves to be a great platform for geological research... I just wished they'd stuck some bio-scanning stuff on those battle hardy R/Cs. With the way those rovers are holding up, we could have collected a vast array of biological data by now.

Still gotta read up about Phoenix... I hear it's supposed to be well equipped...

[edit on 9/1/2007 by damajikninja]

posted on Sep, 2 2007 @ 07:21 PM

Originally posted by damajikninja
Nicely done! You got this one in a few days ahead of the mass media!


Still gotta read up about Phoenix... I hear it's supposed to be well equipped...

Thanks damajikninja,

One of the nice things about ATS is that we often get the jump on mass media. Sometimes I swear they read ATS to find stories for themselves.

As far as Phoenix goes, here's a site with some details.

The immediate goals of the Phoenix mission are to study the geologic history of water, and to search for evidence that Mars may have sustained life. Continued research will be done to determine whether dormant organisms could come back to life. As on Earth, the past history of water is found in the subsurface as liquid water changes the chemistry of the ground substance.


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